dear wren (17 mo)
It seems like it was just yesterday that I sat down to write your 16-month letter. Where has the time gone and where have I been and how have you changed so much in the past 30 days? You’re certainly not the same little girl you were last month, or even last week, or even yesterday for that matter. It’s all so fleeting and I wish I had a giant pause button some days.
Your new addiction this month: hats. Your milliner uncle would be proud. You point at every single hat you see — whether it be a flat cap or Fedora or bike helmet; on people, in books, on billboards and hooks — and then tap the top of your head to let me know that there is a hat over there mama, a HAT, isn’t it the most exciting thing you’ve ever seen? You do the same with the moon and the stars. You spot stars in every card and magazine and shop front, no matter how small, and trust me, with Christmas right around the corner, there are stars everywhere. You open and close your hands to make the gesture of a twinkling star, keen for me to sing the song again for the 15th time that day. I tell you, when you get hooked on something, you ride it to an inch of its life.
You finally, finally, say mama in its proper context. You pointed at me the other day and said mama so enthusiastically that I nearly burst into tears. This does come with its drawbacks however. Case in point, whenever daddy toots you now say mamaaaa disapprovingly, much to your father’s amusement. He says this is undeniable proof that I’m the farter in the family. I’m not sure that’s a title I wish to hold.
I don’t think you have any favourite foods this month, as in, nothing much satisfies you. You did, however, taste your very first PB&J in the car on the way to grand-dad’s last weekend and you devoured it. I grew up on PB&J so you’d think I’d have an aversion to the stuff but every time I eat one, which is once in a blue moon, it feels like I’m taking a bite out of a hot summer’s day. It’s the sandwich of holidays and road trips and days at the beach.
The month of November is the month of fireworks here in the UK. They start way before Guy Fawke’s night and continue well after it, weeks after it. Night after night after night of feeling like I’m in a war zone… or a gigantic popcorn machine. I like fireworks, I really do. I just like to go to them, not have them come to me when I least expect it, from every which way for hours on end. Still, I wasn’t about to be a Guy Fawkes Scrooge and stop you from enjoying these little colourful explosions in the sky. And so one night, I rushed you to the window and pointed them out to you and you, my dear, did NOT appreciate the gesture. They completely petrified you. I had to step away from the window, far away from the window, and for the next 30 minutes you wrapped your legs tight, like a vice grip, around my waist and kept one watchful eye on that window and said byebye that repeatedly until you were satisfied that your mantra had worked and that the pow-pow-pow had stopped.
You haven’t evolved much on the language front. It’s all dish and dash. But you love to make sounds. You make monkey sounds oooh-ooh-ahhh-ahhh when we call you a monkey, which happens a lot. And you do the same with owls – Hooo Hooo. Although the words aren’t quite there yet, you understand pretty much everything in both languages. Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, chin (your own, mine, daddy’s, friends and I’m sure strangers if I’d let you), dog, cat, lady bird, pig, hen, owl, star, shoes, cheese, pretty much anything in the house and in your books and from here to the park.
You love to lay all of your bunnies on the floor like they’re sleeping and then I sing the bunny song and we make all the bunnies hop — hop little bunnies, hop hop hop — and then you lie them down again and again and again. As you may have noticed from this letter, everything these days is done over and over again.
You imitate EVERYTHING, but my very favourite is the way you go around the house, tapping your nose, saying hmmmmm inquisitively when you’re trying to find something or solve a problem, as if in deep thought. It’s insanely adorable. I also love the way you hand over your lovey, Monsieur Lapin, when you have a difficult task at hand. A chair to climb, stairs to descend, a snack to eat. Here, hold this, mama. So bossy.
I’m sure I’m missing stuff. Seems like so much has happened this month. Stomach bugs, interviews, the death and funeral of a dear friend, and now, a lovely sleep rebellion to kick off this new month. A regression that has you fighting your naps and suddenly not being able to fall asleep unless we are in the room with you and all of us awake from 11pm to 1am when you decide that it’s time for a wide-eyed Wren rave. It’s not cool, kid. But I get it. You have a lot of stuff going on up there. So we’re doing our best to help you transition, to give you the tools and the cuddles you need.
So much of the happiness that I have in this world is thanks to you, you crazy-haired crumpet. The joy you bring to us is immeasurable, unquestionable. It makes up for the worry, the exhaustion, the dinners left untouched, the tantrums. I’m going back to work in two weeks and I hate the thought of no longer being able to spend my days with you. It kills me to know that I’m going to miss so many precious moments. So until then, I’m going to soak up every single second of you, kiddo.